What is The Lineout?

The Lineout is a blog focusing on International Test and Club Rugby, aimed at providing a digest of the International game for a primarily Canadian audience.

What does it cover?

The Lineout covers the two major annual international Test rugby competitions for the top ten Rugby nations – The Rugby Championship for the Southern Hemisphere (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and the Six Nations Championship for the Northern Hemisphere (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales).
It also covers:

  • Summer and Fall tours by these countries in June and November
  • The Rugby World Cup, in its entirety, every four years
  • Canadian International Test matches
  • Some coverage of the two major annual international club competitions, as background to the development of their National Sides: The European Champions Cup in Europe and Super Rugby in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Now that professional rugby has a home in Canada with the MLR franchise the Toronto Arrows we’ll also be covering all of their home games.

Is it just match coverage?

We don’t cover individual matches per se but more themes emerging from the teams’ performances in games and things that strike us the most in terms of what teams/countries need to address going forward. There will also be regular information on where and how to watch the big games in Canada, via television or internet. We hope to also do occasional features on rugby travel and great places to watch the games in Canada and abroad.

Who writes the Lineout?

A rugby mad Canadian, frustrated by the lack of coverage of our great game in Canada, on a blog that sums up the thoughts of a bunch of blokes chewing over the week’s rugby over a couple of pints. I have been watching rugby for almost fifty years and used to play at high school. Am I an expert? No. Do I love the game? Yes.

Who do we support?

Any team that plays good rugby and embraces and upholds the values of our great game. We’ll be honest there is a predominant bias towards Irish and South African rugby in our midst because of collective backgrounds, but we also are huge fans of Argentina, France and Scotland as well as any underdog in any match. Naturally because this is a Canadian site we lend our rallying cry to the men from North of the 49th parallel whenever they go to battle. Bottom line though like we say – if any team plays good rugby we’ll sing their praises to the rooftops!

Is it open to comments?

Most definitely! Hopefully it can become a forum for discussion and analysis and generate greater interest in our beloved game in Canada and North America in general and for anyone else around the world who like our musings. See the above qualifier – the thoughts expressed in these pages are my own reflections on the game, from a passionate supporter. If you disagree fine but don’t troll.

When will it come out?

Time, work and family commitments permitting as often as possible but most likely on a bi-weekly basis.

Any questions?

Feel free to contact me – Neil Olsen at: rugbylineout@gmail.com


36 thoughts on “About

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Luis and all the very best of luck to Argentina tomorrow. I have the greatest admiration and respect for the Pumas achievements over the last ten years and am delighted to see them take their rightful place amongst the world’s elite rugby nations!


    1. Is this the legendary Andrew Little? If so great to hear from you. Kenya has always been competitive in the qualifiers and is likely to pip Namibia for the second African spot in 2019.


  1. Hi Neil

    Great coverage of the match between Scotland and Wales. But…you’ve got the wrong John down as Scotland’s captain. ‘Twas John Barclay, not John Hardie (he went off after 20 minutes or so with an injury to be replaced by Scotland’s Duracell bunny, Hamish Watson).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. South African living in Canada here – DELIGHTED to find out about this site! Was directed here by the guys @ The 1014. Some great rugby coming up this weekend… This is the week we’ve all been waiting for in The Rugby Championship… should be the 2 best clashes yet. Looking forward to your preview / review. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kylan for the support and really appreciated the shout out from the 1014 – love their work. Yes definitely looking forward to the weekend, though have to admit the loss of Jaco Kriel for the Boks due to injury is a HUGE blow. Still time for Jean-Luc du Preez to really step up, and Kolisi needs to be much more visible than he was in the game against the Wallabies. Either way some great rugby in store this weekend. Sure like us though you are probably anticipating the match up between the ABs and the Boks in Cape Town next month, as THE match of the tournament. Enjoy and thanks again for the vote of confidence. Preview/review out Friday morning latest.


      1. Losing Jaco Kriel is disastrous… Bok’s breakdown was one of the few advantages (argueable, I know) they may have had over the AB’s… I can’t see that happening now. Jean-Luc du Preez needs to put in a game similar (if not better) to what Pieter-Steph du Toit did against the Wallabies last weekend. And you’re right – Cape Town is THE game on all our calendars. Wallabies NEED a win desperately, I think they’ll edge the Argies on Saturday… but I wouldn’t put money on it!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Daniel. Bit of a mish mash at the moment. South Africa is in transition in terms of broadcasting rights internationally for rugby. With the move of SA Super Rugby rugby sides to the PRO14 next season rights for the Lions tour are a grey area, although TSN looks set to have the Rugby Championship which will follow right after it. As for the Lions tour, we think TSN will be getting it, but there is also an outside chance that DAZN might get it due to their association with the soon to be expanded PRO14. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know. One thing we do know is that Channel 4 in the UK will have the highlights of all the Lions Tests and that can be accessed for free with a VPN. Whether or not Channel 4 will also have the games on demand after they’ve been played is unclear but we doubt it. Cheers for now and the moment we know what’s going on it will be out there.


    2. Yup Saturday’s game is on Channel 4 in the UK. The new provider though that has replaced Rugby Pass is Premier Sports Asia. We’ve got it to work, details over on the TV page if you’re interested. Still hoping TSN or DAZN might come to the party but only likely to find out a day or two before. Cheers mate


      1. It appears that a new provider that serves Canada is up and running. If you look at https://www.lionsrugby.com/broadcast there is a link and we can sign up for the channel from tomorrow. Looks like it’s a PremierSports channel, but not the same as PremierSportsAsia. So, hopefully no need for VPNs and the like!


      2. Further to my message, I had contacted the Lions Tour about coverage in Canada, and they passed my contact details to PremierSports. I had an email from them earlier with the following information, in case it’s of use or interest:

        Premier Sports is a sports TV channel in the UK & ROI who have also recently secured the rights to the Lions tour of South Africa in Canada via an OTT platform called Premier Sports Lions.

        The website http://www.premiersportslions.com will aim to go live at 5.30pm BST tomorrow. The app will be available on iOS and Android and live from week commencing July 5th due to it needing to be cleared by Apple and Google.

        Fans can watch via the browser on their device in the meantime. The price for the whole tournament is USD $49 including all games live and exclusive plus Lions documentaries.

        For any queries relating to the OTT platform, please contact lionssupport@premiersports.com.


      3. You’re more than welcome! Thanks so much for your efforts to try to find information on this. I was hitting refresh on this site an awful lot to see if you had better information than I did! Seems to have been a bit of a pain all round, distributors were certainly cutting it fine. Amazed that TSN didn’t pick it up. Anyway, their site is now up and running and I’ve signed up for an account. Just as a point to note, according to their T&Cs you can only watch on 1 device at a time, so no sharing passwords to reduce the fees!


      4. Yeah thanks mate. It’s funny the deal with Premier Sports Asia is actually a better deal, albeit more of a hassle with the VPN, but you do get all the summer Tests such as Australia/France as well just in case Canadian broadcasters decide that Korean baseball is more of a draw than Test rugby. However it’s a monthly subscription so as the Lions Tests spill over into August two lots of $33 is the same as the Canadian price of $60 I guess for the whole tour package on the Canadian site. Really hope one day watching rugby in this country becomes much more straightforward. Cheers and enjoy the game tomorrow should be VERY interesting and hopefully a good effort from both sides!


  3. Hey folks, any news on whether DAZN will be showing the United Rugby Championship this season? I don’t even see rugby union listed as a sport on its website now. I know that for the ERC, you can watch games on their website, for a fee, in territories without a broadcast agreement. I wonder if the same thing will be available for URC matches.


    1. Hi Jeff. It looks like they are no longer doing it even though the URC website lists them as the broadcaster for Canada. There are options both free and paid to watch it in this country using a VPN. Yes like ERC you can watch directly through the website by either buying game/weekend/season passes but through a VPN either using a US or UK server. Premier Sports UK/Ireland also has it through a VPN and they may also have a Canadian direct link which would not require a VPN. I’ll be updating the TV page tonight on various options


  4. Hi, am new to this site. Like all the previous comments I am so frustrated with the lack of any kind of rugby coverage ( paid or not) here in Canada. I am a Munster/ Ireland supporter but love all competitors Northern/ Southern Hemisphere. Originally brought an Android box from Ireland worked well, then relied on DAZN. At the moment I am scrambling to find alternatives to linking up with Rogers. Am exploring VPN but am so disappointed that Premier Sport ( an Irish company) is not setting up a direct Canadian streaming service. Any updates on this site are welcome. A Canadian Winter is tough enough but without rugby ……unbearable. 🇨🇦💚🇮🇪


    1. Hi Trisha, yeah not sure that Premier Sports will be setting up a permanent Canadian link but Premier Sports Asia has all the rugby competitions URC, Premiership, Autumn Internationals, Six Nations, Super Rugby and Rugby Championship. The only thing we’re unsure of is the Heineken Cup. You don’t even need a VPN to watch it in Canada. It’s $33 CDN a month, see TV page for link. Good luck to Munster today against Scarlets. Cheers


    2. According to the URC, you can purchase individual games on https://www.urc.tv/. I haven’t actually done this but definitely will for the next interpros. You can also buy individual matches for the champions cup.


      1. Only problem is that with both EPCRTV for Heineken Cup and URCTV for the URC none of it is available on demand which makes it a bit pricey if you miss any of the games. That is the one advantage of Premier Sports Asia’s service. If they get the Heineken Cup as well then everything is on one site live and on demand for one monthly fee, and at the moment we don’t even need a VPN to use it. Here’s hoping it stays that way. PS not getting a commission from Premier 🤣 just trying to make my rugby viewing in this country as simple and cost-effective as possible. Cheers


      2. Looks like Sportsnet world has the URC. And the premiership; would be nice to catch some of the Quins games


      3. Ha, you’re pushing Premier sports Asia pretty hard! 😉 I’m just relieved that I can get URC games to record so hopefully won’t have to rely on on demand.


      4. Hi Jeff, yes you can purchase individual games on URC TV but it’s pretty pricey. It appears they are offering a season pass for all the regular season ganes at about $75 CDN which seems the better deal but not sure if they’re available on demand. Cheers Neil


  5. Hi there, I’m in Toronto and trying to sign up for PremierSportsAsia so that I can watch the rugby including the Autumn Internationals. However, on the registration page, there is a drop down menu to select your country but Canada is not there. How can I sign up for the service? Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thanks!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: